Chateau Larcis-Ducasse Saint Emilion 2018
|France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion
#7 on Jeb Dunnuck's Top 100 of 2021
The 2018 Château Larcis Ducasse checks in as 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc that comes from a gorgeous hillside terroir on the Côte Pavie, located between Château Pavie and Château Bellefont-Belcier. Aged 18 months in 60% new barrels, it offers a truly sensational bouquet of ripe blackcurrants, espresso roast, scorched earth, bloody meat, chocolate, iron, and bouquet garni. A massive, super-rich Saint-Emilion with a dense, concentrated, layered mouthfeel, it has building yet sweet tannins and incredible purity of fruit. Reminding me of the 2005 shortly after release, this heavenly juice offers astonishing richness and depth while staying flawlessly balanced and elegant. Sadly, there are less than 3,000 cases produced, but this monumental, legendary wine won't hit maturity for a good 8-10 years and will have 40-50 years of longevity if well stored. Hats off to Nicolas Thienpont and consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt for producing one of the wines of the vintage as well as one of the greatest young Bordeaux I've ever tasted.
This is very structured and powerful with bright and electric acidity and fine-grained yet muscular tannins. Full-bodied yet compact and focused. Greatly formed. Flexing. Thoughtful.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Larcis Ducasse features wonderfully expressive scents of baked black and red plums, kirsch, rose hip tea and cigar box with hints of pencil shavings, baked redcurrants and truffles plus a waft of licorice. Full-bodied and beautifully nuanced on the palate, it has layer upon layer of red and black fruit preserves with beautiful, velvety tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and perfumed.
A solid wine, with raspberry and red currant fruit adhering to chalk and iron notes, while ample grip drives underneath. Reveals a mouthwatering tobacco accent at the end. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. 2,416 cases made. Score range: 94 - 97
A wine of total sophistication and class, Larcis Ducasse is fabulous in 2018. Freshly cut flowers, bright red fruit, espresso, licorice and wild flowers are all vibrant in the glass. The 2018 marries fruit intensity, energy and structure like few wines in this vintage. The 2018 is deceptive in its mid-weight structure, but it packs a real punch. There is an element of precision in Larcis that is truly remarkable. Even with all of its intensity, Larcis retains its characteristic linear feel and drive. I loved it. Tasted three times.
Powerful but with a sense of restraint, this is extremely well handled in 2018. The difference between this and a more massive St-Emilion is subtle for sure - it's unquestionably on the dark fruit register - but you notice it in the way that the tannins respond and bounce rather than stiffen up in the mouth. You can enjoy them as they close in around you rather than beg for air. The palate has lots of dark chocolate, liquorice and slate notes, with cassis and blackberry fruits. This is from south-facing slopes, so there's plenty of ripeness in the grapes, but the limestone helps to temper it, along with the natural water sources that are found at this spot. Owned by Famille Gratiot-Attmane, but with the Nicolas Thienpont team overseeing winemaking.
92-94. Barrel Sample. A concentrated wine with big tannins and a smoky character, this is rich, darkly textured and full of blackberry fruit. The wine is powerful, spicy and fresh on the end.